Coaching in the Third Sector

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the third sector is:

The part of an economy or society comprising non-governmental and non-profit-making organisations or associations, including charities, voluntary and community groups, cooperatives, etc.

Sales Improvement Services have supported a number of organisations, particularly in the voluntary and charity sector, some of which are provided as case studies and testimonials that have been given by some of the wonderful and dedicated people who choose to work and also donate their own time to different causes.

One such testimonial, provided by Dr Rex Haigh, stated “as a team, we are extremely committed and passionate about the work we do. We know that it could help so many people who either ‘fall through the gaps’ in all the local services, or end up with ‘mental illnesses’ and ‘psychiatric careers’ that could have been prevented. We have the knowledge, skills and experience between us to deliver an excellent programme. But we do not have the business background or understanding to turn that into a viable social enterprise”.

Jamie Doward wrote in the Guardian at the end of 2012 that: according to a poll commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation public spending cutbacks and falling donations are conspiring to devastating effect.

His statement reflects so many of our third sector clients experience over the last few years where our spirit of community still thrives yet periods of austerity have and cut backs have left many charities struggling financially or worse still having to fold.

The foundation warns that as many as one in six charities believe they may close in the coming year,(2013) while nearly half say they are being forced to dip into reserves. One in three say they fear being forced to cut services.

Whilst there is some debate regarding the accuracy of gathered statistics relating to donations and grants, a number actually contradicting the forecast stated above, what is clear is that traditional methods of raising money are no longer suitable for the 21st century.

A number of larger charities are extremely successful at raising donations and creating alternative revenue streams and actively embrace social media, advertising and modern day media methods to both generate awareness, establish a brand and in turn increase revenue. Organisations such as Care UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer UK and Help for Heroes are great examples of these.

The challenge therefore for the smaller charity, probably dealing with local community issues, including topics that are less socially acceptable or as high profile as others, is to compete in the new digital world where traditional revenue streams such as grants from the local authority are no longer there or where donations from private sector organisations are under attack from the larger more well established or better promoted charities.

Coaching can help.

We have worked with a number of charities founders and their respective volunteer teams and have used coaching techniques to support the widening of perspective and empowering and challenging willing volunteers to try out and test new ideas and concepts.

We have further used coaching to make such changes are part of transformational learning and as such help provide the recipient with useful experience and skills to use in other forms of life as well as contributing to the success of their chosen area of support work.


Please take time to read through some of our case studies as they appear in our newsletter and case studies and if you are interested in learning more on how we can help support your charity please contact us at